D-Von Dudley's Table Talk welcomed Bobby Lashley to the podcast where he fantasy booked a storyline with Brock Lesnar and opened up why he wanted to return to WWE. He said the plan was always to return after leaving in 2008. He talked about his transition into MMA and independent wrestling including the stigma he had against him while wrestling on the indies.
"I always had plans to come back," Lashley admitted. "When I left, there were circumstances that made me leave. When I was gone, what I was trying to do was I was trying to do everything that I can to legitimize my character. When I went to fighting, I went into Strikeforce, and they thrust me it. I started training, and I said I wanted to fight. Next thing, I'm semi-main event at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.
"I went out there and fought for a few years, then I went into the independents. When I first came in, I came in at the Olympic Training Center. So I think that a lot of the guys that were coming in from the indie promotions, they were thinking, 'he didn't pay his dues.' I was wrestling for 20 years. I was busting my butt for 20 years in the sport of wrestling, but because I didn't do the independent shows, some people were saying you didn't pay your dues. When I left, I did a lot of independent promotions. I went down to Mexico, went to Japan and I did a lot of stuff in the United States."
Lashley's last MMA fight was in Bellator in 2018. He currently has a 15-2 record and had teased a fight against heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader but nothing came up after. He revealed that he had a clause in his Bellator contract where if WWE offered him a contract, his Bellator deal would be put on hold.
"So I was just honing my craft and earning the respect of the professional wrestling community," Lashley stated. "When I signed with Bellator, I had nine fights with Bellator. I fought four of them, and in my contract, it stated that if WWE ever offered me a contract, they would pause my contract with fighting and allow me to go into WWE. So I always have thoughts, dreams, aspirations or whatever you want to say of coming back."
D-Von asked Lashley if he leaves WWE, what would his motivation be for returning to MMA. Lashley says he wants to ride out his current run in WWE, but he plans on making a return to MMA in the future.
"It really depends on how long this ride goes. I have a job right now," Lashley noted. "Some people didn't have a job weeks back. If I do leave, I 100 percent will fight again."
Lashley also opened up about his life after wrestling. He talked about the business ventures that he has his hands in and how he would be financially secure if he didn't have wrestling or MMA.
"Every one of them has an expiration date. Fighting is gonna get to a point to where I'm just not gonna be able to fight anymore. What I've done for myself up to this point is I've developed businesses outside of wrestling. I don't necessarily have to work when I quit. If I'm not fighting, I'll just keep going with my houses. I flip a lot of houses. I have a lot of rental properties right now, so I'll just continue on that route. I have some investments with some CBD companies and a couple of other investments I put my hands in. I got a bunch of stocks set away. So I have a lot of cushion set away.
"I don't necessarily have to be one of those guys that have to go to every convention to get extra money here and there. I want to do the things I want to do. Of course, I'm gonna connect with WWE and the wrestling fans because 16-17 years in the business, there's a lot of connection there. I'm still gonna do the major, big shows."
Lashley also talked about wanting to have the marquee, part-time schedule like Goldberg and The Undertaker. He reiterated his desire to fight again and revealed his dream goal of being a high school wrestling coach.
"Hopefully, I can build my character up good enough this time in WWE that I can maybe get the Saudi shows, the special guest shows or that guy that comes back like how Goldberg would come back and Taker would come back and do a couple of shows here and there," Lashley said. "I'd like to keep myself in good enough shape that I can come back for those. Yes I'm fighting, and if I don't fight, then I'm just going to live and hang out with my kids. I want to be a high school wrestling coach. That's ultimately what I want to do."
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Table Talk with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.